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'I can't ask for more from the players' - Lampard says Chelsea 'didn't get the rub of the green' in draw with Aston Villa

20:52 GMT 28/12/2020
Frank Lampard Chelsea 2020
The Blues boss had previously criticised his players following a lopsided loss to Arsenal but was more sympathetic after Monday's result

Frank Lampard says that Chelsea "didn't get the rub of the green" in Monday's draw with Aston Villa after previously saying he was unhappy with his players' effort in a recent loss to Arsenal.

Chelsea were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge as Olivier Giroud's first-half goal was canceled out by a second-half finish from Anwar El Ghazi.

With the draw, Chelsea have dropped points in four of their last five matches, with the lone win being a 3-0 battering of West Ham.

Lampard's Chelsea have lost to Everton, Wolves and, most recently, Arsenal, after which Lampard called out his players for not working hard enough.

On Monday, though, he believes he saw a positive reaction, even if Chelsea were unable to seal the three points.

"Definitely, in terms of performance. We started really well, Villa had their moments but we dealt with them and came through the first half really strong. We got a goal we deserved," he told Amazon Prime after the match.

"Second half, we conceded with a man on the floor, that's the way it is for us at the moment. We pushed but couldn't break the deadlock. Attitude-wise, effort-wise, some of the play was very good against a really good team.

"Late on we got some chances and nearly scored, when you're in a tough moment sometimes things don't quite go for you. A month ago we win that. We have to fight through it.

"I can't ask for more from the players today. No one let me down, everyone worked hard, we didn't get the rub of the green."

Chelsea currently sit sixth in the Premier League, level on points with fifth-place Villa and seventh-place Tottenham, who have a game in hand.

The club's recent dip in form have seen them fall behind in the title race, but Lampard says he isn't getting too caught up in Monday's result thanks to what he saw as a solid performance.

“They're a tough opponent, but we had really good chances," he told Match of the Day.

“I think there was a handball before the goal right next to the linesman. When you’re having a tough moment like we are, sometimes that goes against you. That last bit wasn’t quite there today because we haven’t got the rub of the green at the minute.

“The response was exactly right other than the win. We had a couple of little chances. It felt like the pressure was coming from us. This is our tough period at the moment. We have to fight for it and we’ll be stronger for it.

“You want to get results at this point of the year. I could feel the players' disappointment at the end because they want to win.

“A few weeks ago people were talking about us as title challengers, now it's a difficult period. The new players are going to get better as they come along.”